GERD Surgery

One in five South Floridians suffer from heartburn. We are experts in GERD surgery to cure acid reflux and improve your quality of life.

More than 65 million adults in the U.S. experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as heartburn. Approximately one in five South Floridians suffers from GERD. Surgery is the only way to permanently cure acid reflux and eliminate symptoms though sometimes medications can effectively manage GERD.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a painful condition where acid from your stomach flows back into your esophagus (regurgitation). It causes a burning sensation that can last for hours or days — or occur nonstop. Other symptoms include:
  • Chest pain or burning sensation in chest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Feeling of a “lump” in your throat
  • Regurgitation

Benefits of Acid Reflux Surgery

When you cannot manage heartburn effectively with over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications or you are tired of taking medication for reflux, GERD surgery might be an option. Prescription and OTC medications can only control the symptoms of reflux, not cure heartburn. Benefits of GERD surgery include:

  • Eliminating heartburn medications: Most people no longer need prescription or OTC medications to treat acid reflux after heartburn surgery.
  • Improving your quality of life: Heartburn can affect your life in many ways. You may have to stop eating the foods you love or avoid certain activities and events. GERD surgery helps you get back to living your life without worrying about heartburn.
  • Increasing your life expectancy: Studies show that GERD can make certain respiratory conditions worse and cause shortness of breath. It can also increase the risk of aspiration, which happens when stomach contents flow back into your airway.
  • Lowering your risk of some types of cancer: People with GERD have a slightly higher risk of developing esophageal cancer. Frequent acid reflux can also damage the lining of the esophagus and put you at risk of Barrett’s esophagus. This condition can lead to a precancerous condition called dysplasia.

Diagnosing GERD

Your surgeon may be able to diagnose GERD after discussing your symptoms and doing a physical exam. Sometimes they will recommend additional tests for reflux, including:

  • Upper endoscopy: We use this procedure to look at your esophagus and stomach for signs of inflammation or other problems. Your surgeon puts a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera down your throat to see your esophagus.
  • Esophageal pH test: This monitoring test shows us how often regurgitation occurs and for how long. We may put a thin, flexible tube down your throat to view regurgitation activity. We may also connect a small clip to your esophagus that measures pH levels for 48 hours. The clip sends information to a small wireless device worn on your belt or waistband.
  • Upper gastrointestinal series: This is an X-ray to examine the lining inside your digestive tract. You drink a chalky liquid before the test. The surgeon can see a silhouette of your upper digestive tract (esophagus, stomach and upper intestine) on the X-ray.
  • Esophageal manometry: This test measures muscle contractions in the esophagus while you swallow. It can also show how much force your muscles exert on your esophagus.

Hiatal hernia surgery for GERD

A muscle called the diaphragm separates your esophagus in your chest from your stomach in your abdomen. A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm into your chest. The displacement weakens the lower esophageal sphincter muscle at the top of your stomach that keeps acid from flowing backward.

Hiatal hernia surgery pulls the stomach back into the abdomen and repairs or reinforces the muscle. Afterward, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle can work properly to prevent acid reflux.

woman holding throat GERD acid reflux heartburn

Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation

During magnetic sphincter augmentation surgery (LINX), the surgeon puts a small device around the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. The implant expands and contracts to squeeze the lower esophageal sphincter muscle together, preventing reflux.

Nissen Fundoplication

Nissen fundoplication surgery is a standard treatment for GERD. The surgeon takes the upper part of your stomach and wraps it around the outside of the lower esophagus. This procedure strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to prevent acid reflux.

GERD Surgery: Why Choose Us?

Memorial Center for Reflux is the first program in South Florida with team-based surgical care specifically for treating acid reflux. We offer the first comprehensive reflux treatment center in Broward County to help people living with acid reflux.

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